Bearded Dragon Bath Time: For a Safe and Soothing Experience

A bearded dragon bath is one essential aspect of caring for these creatures, offering benefits beyond mere cleanliness. Immersion in water aids in maintaining hydration—crucial for their overall health—and also ensures that bearded dragons are kept clean, which is especially important for those living in restricted enclosures.

From juvenile to adult stages, it’s imperative for breeders and owners alike to understand the significance of this practice. Research suggests that both baby and adult bearded dragons benefit from the hydration provided through routine baths. This aspect of reptile care promotes the health and well-being of bearded dragons, preventing potential issues associated with inadequate hygiene and hydration.

bearded dragon bath: making it easy and fun

Bearded Dragon Bath Necessities

Bearded dragons have requirements for hygiene that include regular baths. Baths serve several purposes for these reptiles:

  • Skin Health: They aid in skin hydration, which is crucial during shedding. Proper hydration eases the process of shedding old skin.
  • Hydration: Although bearded dragons absorb water through their skin, baths can also encourage drinking, aiding their hydration.
  • Cleanliness: Baths help to remove any dirt or debris from the bearded dragon’s skin and may help to prevent possible infections.
  • Temperature Regulation: Soaking in warm water can help a bearded dragon maintain its body temperature.

When administering a bath consider the following guidelines:

Temperature of WaterFrequency of BathsDuration
Lukewarm (about 95°F)1-2 times per week10-15 minutes

Never use soaps or detergents as they can irritate and dry the reptile’s skin and eyes. After the bearded dragon bath gently pat down with a towel to remove excess moisture.

If it is cold, ensure they are returned to a warm environment to prevent any chill. It is important to keep in mind that different bearded dragons may have individual needs and preferences, and their behavior should be monitored to accommodate any adjustments to their bathing routine.

bearded dragon bathing with support from rubber duck
Staceys bearded dragon bathing with support from rubber duck.

Essential Gear for Bathing Bearded Dragons

The essential gear for a bearded dragon bath includes:

  • Bathtub Container: A small container is adequate for bathing, as standard household tubs may be too spacious and complicate cleaning post-bath, especially following the dragon’s possible defecation.
  • Resting Object: Include a floating object for the dragon to grip if stressed; suitable items are a stone or driftwood, although assisting with your hand is effective too.
  • Temperature Monitoring: Utilize a thermometer to ensure water is at a safe temperature; these tools are inexpensive and widely available.
  • Cleaning Tools: A smooth-textured toothbrush aids in gently removing debris, promoting hygiene without harming the dragon’s skin. Employ a non-toxic cleaner formulated for reptile habitats to sanitize the area afterwards.
Bathing bearded dragons supported by hand
Bathing supported by hand providing comfort. Amanda Bradbury

How Often Should I Bath My Bearded Dragon

For optimal care, a bearded dragon bath should be incorporated regularly into their routine. Bathing assists in shedding, hydration, maintaining healthy skin and encouraging bowel movements.

Shedding Assistance and Hydration

  • Duration: Limit to 20 minutes for hydration and shedding.
  • Temperature: Ensure the water is lukewarm.

Alleviating Digestive Issues

  • For constipation relief, extend bath time to approximately 30 minutes.

Maintaining Healthy Skin

  • Bathing helps remove old skin and can prevent impaction.
  • Assists in the natural shedding process by loosening dead skin.

Frequency of Baths

  • Typically, bathing once a week suffices.
  • Adjust based on other hydration methods and habitat humidity.

Encouraging Bowel Movements

  • A warm bath can stimulate bowel activity, helping bearded dragons who are constipated or impacted.
Bearded dragon bathing
Young bearded dragon gaining confidence during bathing.

What Temperature Should I Bath my Bearded Dragon?

The water should be luke warm which, according to Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, is between 90-96ºF (32-36ºC). This is within the range of basking temperatures making it ideal.

When preparing a bearded dragon bath, aim for a water temperature of 90-96ºF (32-36ºC). This temperature range is close to their usual basking temperatures, providing a comfortable and hydrating experience. Accurately measure bath water warmth with a thermometer to ensure a consistent and safe environment.

  • Lukewarm water: Provides adequate warmth without causing stress or dehydration.
  • Hydration: Helps maintain proper moisture levels in the dragon’s skin.
  • Water depth: Keep shallow to avoid accidental drowning; approximate depth should be no higher than the dragon’s joints.
  • Use tap water that’s been adjusted to the appropriate temperature and monitor to prevent cooling, especially post-feeding.

Lynn Weizel
Bella was so adorable in the bath today.

Posted by Bearded Dragons World on Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bearded Dragon Bathing: A Step-by-Step Guide

Bathing a bearded dragon is an important part of their hygiene and can promote good health. The following guide provides straightforward steps to ensure a safe and positive bathing experience for your reptile friend:

  • Preparation: Start by gathering your supplies. You’ll need a shallow bath or a sink, lukewarm water, a soft toothbrush or cloth, and a towel.
  • Water Temperature: Fill the bath with lukewarm water. The temperature should be comfortable to touch (about 85-92°F or 29-33°C), not hot or cold as extreme temperatures can stress the bearded dragon.
  • Water Level: Ensure the water depth is shallow—about an inch or so. Bearded dragons should not be fully submerged; they need to be able to easily keep their heads above water.
  • Gentle Immersion: Gently place the bearded dragon in the water. Most will start to paddle around; allow them to do so as it helps with their circulation.
  • Cleaning: Using the soft brush or cloth, carefully clean your bearded dragon. Avoid their face, and never pour water directly on their head.
  • Rinsing: If needed, gently scoop water with your hand and let it cascade over the dragon’s back to rinse it. Make sure no soap or cleaning agents are used as they can harm your pet.
  • Monitoring: Keep a watchful eye on your pet throughout the bath time to prevent any accidents or potential ingestion of water.
  • Duration: A bath should last about 10 to 15 minutes to avoid overexposure to water and to prevent chilling.
  • After Bath Care: Once bathed, lift the bearded dragon out of the water, gently wrap them in a towel, and pat them dry. Ensure they are thoroughly dry before returning them to their habitat.
  • Frequency: Bathing can be done once a week to help with hydration and shedding, but it’s important to adjust based on individual needs and behavior.

By following these steps, you can safely maintain your reptilian companion’s cleanliness and contribute to their overall well-being.

How to get a Bearded Dragon to Like the Bath: Techniques to Reduce Stress

Fred has been patiently introduced to bathing which has paid off by making it enjoyable for all involved. Fred/Wilma the Bearded Dragon

YouTube video

When introducing Bearded dragons to water, ensure the bathe begins with just a shallow depth, enough to cover their feet. This starter approach encourages ease and security during the bathing process. As their comfort grows, one might gradually increase the depth to permit a mild swim, facilitating bonding and exercise—understanding that this adjustment may require time and patience.

It’s beneficial to place a steady surface within the bath, like a sizable stone, granting the dragon autonomy to exit the soak when desired. If the reptile remains perched, gently cascade water over its back with cupped hands.

During bathing, a gentle clean with a soft toothbrush can provide stimulation, particularly efficacious when the bearded dragon is shedding. This adds a level of care to the routine, enhancing the bearded dragon bath experience for the scaly friend.

Is your Bearded Dragon Swimming or Scared?

When considering whether a bearded dragon is enjoying its time in the water or feeling alarmed, it’s crucial to observe its actions closely.

Bearded dragons are not natural swimmers. Deep water in a bearded dragon bath can cause anxiety rather than pleasure. If a bearded dragon scrambles frantically toward the ledge of the bathing area or attempts to clamber persistently against the sides, this often indicates distress, not enjoyment.

To assess their level of comfort:

  • Place a floating object in the water.
  • Observe if the dragon prefers remaining on the object over swimming.

Another sign a bearded dragon bath is causing discomfort is when they inflate their body during the bath—a behavior that aids in floating but may also signal unease.

Important Notes on Bathing:

  • Stress Impact: Persistent stress can lead to health issues; thus, ensuring a stress-free environment is essential.
  • Bathing Alternatives: Bathing isn’t vital for hydration; other methods are available.
  • Modify Bathing: If signs of stress are evident, consider reducing water volume or providing support with a hand.

Remember, the well-being of the bearded dragon is paramount, and their behavior often serves as the best indicator of their state of mind.

YouTube video

Beard Dragons Poop in the Bath!

  • A bearded dragon bath may encourage them to poop in the water.
  • Should defecation occur, immediately remove the waste or conclude the bath to prevent contamination.
  • Allowing a bearded dragon to soak in water with fecal matter can expose them to harmful bacteria and parasites.

Cleaning up after pooping in the bath:

  • Draining the bath water promptly
  • Utilizing soap and detergents designed for reptile use
  • Rinsing the bath area with a solution of water and vinegar to disinfect
  • Ensuring no residual chemicals remain that could harm the dragon on subsequent baths
bathing bearded dragon in sun aid shedding
Bathing in the sun providing real UVB and aiding in shedding. Courtesy of Leanna Potter

Bathing Bearded Dragons Outdoors

When giving a bearded dragon bath outdoors there are several factors to consider for their benefit, safety and comfort:

  • UVB Exposure: They gain essential UVB while hydrating in the sunshine.
  • Hydration: Mist gently to ensure hydration during the bath.
  • Water Temperature: Test before use to prevent discomfort or burns.
  • Water Pressure: A gentle flow is crucial; harsh streams can harm the dragon.
  • Environment: Ensure a safe space with substrate and rocks for secure footing.
  • Surveillance: Always monitor them, especially under basking lights outdoors.

Bearded Dragon Bathing After Care

After a bath, bearded dragons do not require towel drying. Gently placing them back in their habitat ensures their skin remains healthy and supple.

  • Towel Use: Not needed; their scales air dry efficiently unless the weather is cool. If so, slightly dab them dry and returned to a warm enclosure.
  • Skin Health: Air drying supports natural skin health without disrupting the cloaca.
  • Drying Method:
    • Return to enclosure
    • Allow to air dry
    • Maintain dry, warm conditions to prevent chill


Mosby’s Medical Dictionary: 11th edition | Mosby | ISBN: 9780323639156. (n.d.). Elsevier Australia Bookstore. Retrieved January 21, 2024.


What is a safe soap for my bearded dragon?

When bathing bearded dragons, the choice of products used is crucial for their safety.
Mild and chemical-free: Opt for reptile-friendly soaps or cleansers
Natural Options: A rinse with plain water is often sufficient for cleaning

How long should I bath my bearded dragon for?

The appropriate length of bath time can play a vital role in the well-being of a bearded dragon.
Short and Sweet: Typically, 10-15 minutes
Watchfulness: Observe your bearded dragon for signs of stress or enjoyment.